Hell of a job with our 8 month Lab ( long sorry )

Posted by mikybear
Sep 1, 2010
Hello everyone: Sorry this is long but I need some advice bad, we brought our puppy Marley off a couple of people at the age of 12 weeks, they said their work was not allowing them to train him, he his now 8 months old.

We have of course been doing all the training and excersise he needs, along with the best food.

On the day we brought him, he was happy alert, mega playful, but even then at the age of just 12 weeks he was constently nipping our hands. Hes now 8 months old. We were told by vet to have him neutered, which we have, hes now 5 days into recovery, no big change ( none exspected for 5 to 7 weeks ).

Before the neutering we have had these problems, pulling on lead which we sorted, but its back again, biting us, whent he biting occurs it usley starts when we approach him, he will sometimes drop to the floor roll on back, if you touch him he will firstly start off for a while enjoying it, then start biting in a play mood at same time.

He does it all the time, if we say no he stops, but within a few moments hes back biting again, he also jumps up and lunges at people in the street, to get attention not biting. But one of these days hes going to bite someone by mistake.

The moment he outside everything and anything makes him 1000% excited, off the clock, his tails wags at a million miles and hour, his breathing go's so fast you cant count the respirations. He barks at anyone going past our house, he pulls so hard on the lead it hurts, if you try to correct any of his bad behaviour he simply bites you.

I brought the course like you all did, please tell me where and what would be the best starting point to start over with him, using the course.

He will sit, and come and stay, but when in an hyper state seems to forget everything we have taught him, hes housetrained well. Just need to know if we need to start off with him as if hes a 8 week old puppy again.

We missed his first 4 weeks, and want to make him a great loving dog.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Sep 2, 2010
Hey mikybear,

Sounds like most of Marleys problems are attention seeking based. The jumping, biting, barking, etc, all seem to be his attempts at getting someone to play with him. The best ways to get rid of attention seeking behaviours are: ignoring and counterconditioning.

Ignoring is better for biting and jumping. When he does either behaviour you remove access to whatever bodypart he's biting, and turn your back on him. Ignore him. When he settles down, then you can turn back to him and give him something thats ok for hit mouth, like a chew toy. If he's jumping up, you can say "no" and give a light smack on the nose, to get his attention, then turn your back to him and wait for him to calm down.

Jumping and lunging at strangers on walks is intimidating, and I totally understand wanting to stop it. Does your dog know heel? Try and train him onto that as soon as possible, first using a lead, and keeping it at the distance to keep Marley by your side, saying "heel" and praising him when he walks calmly by your side. It might be a good idea to get a halti lead to train him, it provides you more control over where your dog goes, but doesnt hurt them at all. Once he knows to heel, give him the command off lead and work that way. My dog took a bit of work on this, he was very into finding playmates when he was puppy, and my method was simply grabbing him by the collar when he tried to take off, and holding him while telling him "no" and then "heel" in my stern voice. He got the idea pretty quickly.

Give Marley the "heel" command around others when you're walking, my dog listens really well to it now and won't chase after other dogs, but it did take a lot of disciplinary "no"s, collar grabbing, and putting him back on lead when he didn't listen.

You can also try distracting Marley when people pass, by giving him other commands and keeping his eye contact as they go by. Speak in upbeat tones so he'll want to pay attention to you instead of them, and always reward his not reacting to passersby. If he does react, give "no" commands, and make him sit, then start walking again, using the "heel" command.

As far as barking, I always advocate quick correction and removal from the area they are barking in. Tie him up where he can't see anything worth barking at, and leave him there til he calms down, only then bring him back to the full yard. Do it EVERY time he barks unnecessarily, and try to do it immediately. This worked wonders for my dog, other users probably have other anti-bark training trips

The bottom line is, find a technique you're ok with and stick to it. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and do it every time. These behaviours will take time to correct, but individually they are all relatively easy to correct, with time and patience.

Try wearing him out more during the day, and giving him interactive toys like kongs or noisemakers, getting more energy out can help with attention jumping, etc too.

Hope this helps!
Posted by mikybear
Sep 2, 2010
Thanks very much, hes not responded to heel yet, we do try hard with that one. My main question would be that given what ive wrote about marley, when using the book, what would be the best starting point for him. At the moment, when we try to correct him, since the surgery for neutering, he lunges and trys to bite us. He trys to bite when you say No to something.